I’m not one who gets excited about holidays. If up to me there would be one holiday per month, and that’s it.
The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage loves holidays, no matter what it is. For her it is a time to have a “Day Off.” If anybody knows how to celebrate a day off it is her.
By January, she has all the holidays noted on her calendar and what she is going to do on those holidays.
I do not even want to celebrate my birthday. With all my birthdays, you would think I would get tired of celebrating them. And, I have. The birthday just reminds you are getting older. I do not need that kind of reminder; the pain in my body does that for me.
The problem with my birthday is it is two days before my wife’s birthday. I am not quite sure how I planned that, but if I had to do it over again, I am not sure our birthdays would be that close.
In order for her to celebrate her birthday, I must celebrate my birthday. And, oh boy, is that a challenge for me. After as many birthdays as I have had, I do not know what I could do differently in celebrating my next birthday. Of course, I do not have to think this through; I have someone in our residence that takes care of this.
A certain holiday was coming up and my wife said to me very gingerly, “What are we going to do on our day off?”
My response was, “Huh?”
“You know,” she said , “this Thursday we are having a holiday and so it is a day off for us. So, what are we going to do?”
I knew what I wanted to do, but I was not going to express it in audible words.
“Well,” I said as thoughtfully as I could, “I need to do some more work on the book I’m writing now.” Then I smiled at her.
Looking at me with one of “those looks,” and both hands on her hips, she said, “Absolutely not. Thursday is a day off and we are going to take the day off. End of the subject.”
When she says “End of the subject,” it really means it is the end and the subject is settled.
In nervous anticipation, I was looking forward to “our day off.”
I’m not quite sure what that means. For me every day I’m off my mark, so to speak. However, that is not what she was talking about.
The best days of my life are when I am working on one of my projects. The day seems to go by so quickly when I am doing what I love.
My wife recently informed me that at my age I need to start slowing down. I told her that I would slow down in my walking, but that was not what she meant.
“You work too much, you need to take time off every once in a while.”
Because I do not say something, does not mean I am not thinking of something. What I wanted to ask her at the time was, “Would you please explain to me what ‘once in a while’ means? What day of the week is it?”
However, I kept the thought to myself and for good reasons.
According to her deﬁnition of “day off” it is doing things that you really love that you cannot do on a workday.
When I wore a younger man’s suit, many things
I could do would ﬁ t her category. Since I have traded the younger man’s suit for a more mature man’s suit, many things I cannot do even if I wanted to.
I wrestle with this “day off syndrome” that seems to occupy my wife’s mind. Every time I take a day off, all I can think of is the work I could be doing. That does not make me a happy camper, to say the least.
Getting older, I have come to appreciate certain variations in life. I am not trying to live yesterday because that is past. I am trying to learn how to live today and if it were not for my wife, I would not know what that means.
My father once told me, “Son, remember this. If your wife is happy, everybody in the house is happy.” At the time, I did not understand what he meant. After years of living with the wife, I discovered exactly what he meant.
So, after so many years of being married, I have discovered what this “Day Off” really means. I wish I would have seen this when I was younger. However, I am so glad I have ﬁnally come to terms with what it really means.
A “Day Off” to put it very simply, is a day to spend with your wife. No other agenda on my schedule, but what is making her happy. We spend a day together and if she is happy then the rest of the week is a melody of happiness.
I wonder if this is what Solomon was thinking of when he wrote, “She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her” (Proverbs 3:18).
I have discovered a day off with my wife is the supreme recipe for a happy day.
[Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, and lives with the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage in Ocala, FL. Call him at 352-687-4240 or e-mail jamessnyder2@att. net. The church web site is www.whatafellowship.com.]